Growing Basil

sharingsunshine(zone7/VA)June 19, 2007

Are there any special tips on growing basil? Is it a fussy plant? I want to have it on the deck in a planter. We live in Central Virginia and have not been able to keep this herb alive. Neither has two of the neighbors that have tried. It gets real leggy and dries up. Is it susceptible to some kind of fungus or something? All the other herbs I grow do really well, but this one has been a challenge and it's one that we love for salads. My friend in GA is always bragging on hers :-)

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karen_b(6a s.c. PA)

Basil isn't too picky. It is an annual and therefore can't dry out like alot of herbs prefer and also they need alot of direct sunlight. Where do you plant it now in a planter or garden. What type of soil do you have sandy or loamy/clay, acidic or alkaline Ph? How much direct sunlight do the plants receive each day? And how often do you water the plants and how much do you water them?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 9:55AM
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In a planter on the deck. Southern exposure. Water frequently since I have a lot of plants out there and with all the sun they do get dry if I don't water about every 2-3 days. Soil is regular garden soil you buy. Haven't checked pH. It's the only thing that has been a problem out there. Have a lot of other blooming and herb plants but none of us are doing well on basil. Maybe it's the variety we're buying?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 10:08AM
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karen_b(6a s.c. PA)

If you are using potting soil you bought at the store I wouldn't worry about the Ph. Does water drain out the bottom of the planter? Have you fertilized them? What variety are you buying? Have you tried moving them somewhere else? Mine get northwest exposure...only because that's the best place in my yard for the most sun exposure.

Marsielles is best for pots. Compact and packed with flavor. Lemon basil tends to get leggy no matter where it's planted (my experience). Large leaved may not like being in a pot.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 3:17PM
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All my pots have drain holes at the base. I don't think I ever fertilized basil. I know I don't on my other herbs since they are natives and take care of themselves. I am not growing it this year ... but have been wondering why it was such a problem. I don't know the varieties I've tried either. Sounds like that may be the problem. Maybe I could look for one that's specifically for pots! That's how my neighbors have tried to grow it also so it would be close to the kitchen. THANKS! I think you hit the issue!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 3:40PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Usually the easiest and most prolific basil there is, is the common types like genovese and regular basil. The various scented types and purple leaf are a bit more delicate and are a little bit tougher to grow to maturity.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 11:36AM
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This may seem obvious but bush types are good for pots as well. I put some spicy globe basil in pots and in my garden, and the potted one is actually doing better than the garden one! I wouldn't want it as my only basil source (Genovese is my mainstay) but it's a nice companion and good for salads.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 2:34PM
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My large leaf italian basils do best when it is sunny and hot. I've grown them in pots and directly in the earth in the garden. They seem to respond well to Miracle Grow.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 7:18PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

When I used MG it was on tomatoes many years ago. It tends to leave an odd taste. I don't know of any commerical farmer who grows any herb or vegetable who uses MG. It might be fine to give old tired soil a boost in spring, but when things grow in it, some people can get turned off by the off taste.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 11:41AM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Basil is a heavier feeder than most herbs. It seems to grow nicely on organic fertilizer. The easiest thing is to make a mix of worm castings, bone meal, and greensand (about 4:2:1) and mix in 1 to 2 cups of that per gallon of soil before planting, or work into the top 3-6 inches of soil now that they're already planted. Then you can just water it rather than having to fertilize as you go.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 8:59PM
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Basil is one of the easiest plants to grow. Full sun, well-drained soil, water and a bit of fertiliser from time to time. I use compost - just toss it around the base of the plant. Give it a trim from time to time to keep up leaf growth.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 12:34AM
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for more information about basil, you can looking for here - basil

Here is a link that might be useful: basil

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 8:37PM
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